Piers Akerman – Thursday, May 12, 11 (03:34 am)
The wind, while still warm enough to encourage bare chests or perhaps t-shirts, carries within it the hint of creeping cold.
We are no longer in the South Pacific.
Tim Blair – Thursday, May 12, 11 (04:03 am)
Bathroom excuse #1:
The Yemeni man who was wrestled to the floor after pounding on the cockpit door of a plane approaching San Francisco may have mistaken it for the bathroom.
Bathroom excuse #2:
Christopher Neil Bjerkness, the Duluth man with a fetish for slashing exercise balls with a knife, told police he was riding his bike from church Sunday afternoon when he needed to go to the bathroom.
Tim Blair – Thursday, May 12, 11 (04:01 am)
Daily Telegraph illustrative genius John Tiedemann was recently in Europe with his family, where they encountered a mysterious midget car:
The vehicle bore no obvious manufacturer ID, so John requests our assistance. To give you an idea of just how extremely small is this device, neither of the Tiedemann children is above eight inches in height. The whole family lives in a desk.
Tim Blair – Thursday, May 12, 11 (03:55 am)
Companies eager to appear green and nice are nevertheless edging away from the financial toll of a carbon dioxide tax:
Julia Gillard faces escalating demands to broaden the compensation for the government’s carbon tax scheme to include small business and companies not considered big polluters.
Qantas Airways, which supports a carbon price, has urged the government to consider green tax breaks and loan guarantees to industries such as aviation for investing in fuel-efficient aircraft and sustainable fuel technologies …
Energy company AGL, in a submission to the MPCCC, said it was a strong supporter of the introduction of an emissions-trading scheme and backed the introduction of a carbon price in 2012.
However, it estimated that a carbon price of $20 a tonne was likely to result in an increase in wholesale energy costs of close to $1bn. It also estimated compliance costs would be $200 million.
AGL’s submission, not as blatant as Qantas’s, still seems a begging note. We have another tax dissenter, however:
Australia’s biggest agribusiness also entered the fray, with Australian Agricultural Company chairman and former Reserve Bank board member Donald McGauchie claiming the carbon tax has the potential to render agricultural exports uncompetitive. “For us to be so far ahead of the rest of the world is an extremely dangerous place to be,” he said.
Premier Ted Baillieu has hand-balled responsibility for Victoria meeting its key climate change target to the federal government - and warned he would not support a carbon tax that disadvantaged the state’s economy.
That would be any carbon tax.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (07:39 am)
No way to run a Government:
TAXPAYERS will foot an extra $2 billion foreign aid bill because the Government feared the consequences of upsetting Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd.
Ballooning aid spending in Africa and the Caribbean, where Mr Rudd is chasing votes for a seat on the 15-member UN Security Council, is also causing alarm within the Government.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (07:02 am)
Every budget contains things to criticise but, overall, this one is good. We were warned it would be tough and it is, especially on the better-off. Not only is this the first budget in nine years not to include a tax cut, it imposes the temporary flood tax levy.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:53 am)
Kevin Rudd in 2007:
KEVIN RUDD will take “a meat axe” to the bloated public service…
Mr Rudd said he was “dead serious” about bringing back the razor gang to trim the public service while not affecting services.
“It just strikes me as passing strange that this government that supposedly belongs to the conservative side of politics has not systematically applied the meat axe to its own administrative bloating for the better part of a decade,” he said.
During the last year of the Howard government there were 248,217 full-time equivalent federal public servants across the country. In 2008-09, the first full year of the Labor government, this level increased to 250,566 public servants. A year later public service numbers increased to 258,321 and again in 2010-11 to 261,891 people. That’s an extra 11,300 people in the life of the Rudd and Gillard governments so far.
The latest budget reveals that in 2011-12, when the government hopes its budget deficit will be sliced in half, the number of public servants on its payroll will grow by a further 1100 people to a grand total of 262,995 staff.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:46 am)
Normally you’d say no government would be that desperate, but this one clearly is:
COULD it be that the Malaysian solution was announced ahead of schedule because the Papua New Guinea solution had become public before the government got it tied down, and that both of these were only conjured into existence because the East Timor solution finally had to be publicly buried?
I think sending the next 800 boat people to Malaysia will be some deterrent for as long as that threat lasts, but Greg Sheridan is less sure:
But this bizarre Malaysian deal almost certainly cannot work. For a start, people removed to Malaysia will not be kept in detention and can simply travel to Indonesia again and board another boat for Australia. People-smugglers, keen to keep their business going, may well give them a repeat business discount.
And we agree that it is far better to reinstate Temporary Protection Visas and the detention centre at Nauru. I agree with him on this, too:
Gillard was asked whether children would be removed to Malaysia as part of the process. She blustered furiously in response, which is her stock response on these issues, as it often is with Bowen, as though merely asking the question were improper. Yet it is a perfectly proper question. There are only three possible answers. One, the likeliest, is that the government hasn’t thought of the answer yet. Two, the government will remove children along with others on designated boats but is not game to say this for fear of being eaten alive by the Greens. Or three, the government will not remove children but cannot say this because it would set up a tremendous incentive for people-smugglers to make sure they had a supply of children on their boats.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:36 am)
Why this shock at the Leftist bias of the ABC’s opinion site The Drum, when its editor eats cake like this andwhacks pinatas like that?
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:23 am)
Curiously, Premier Ted Baillieu believes it would insane to turn off one of Victoria’s biggest power generators when there’s nothing to replace it, and no gain to the climate whatsoever. And as for Julia Gillard’s mad carbon dioxide tax...::
PREMIER Ted Baillieu has hand-balled responsibility for Victoria meeting its key climate change target to the federal government - and warned he would not support a carbon tax that disadvantaged the state’s economy.
Speaking after the government abandoned negotiations over the staged closure of the Hazelwood power station - often described as Australia’s ‘’dirtiest’’ coal plant - the Premier said the Victoria’s legislated target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 was ‘’aspirational’’.
Let’s see if Victorian Labor is mad enough in Opposition to keep campaigning to close a massive power station at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and higher power bills for all. My tip is that this insanity is over.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:18 am)
John Howard says this Budget won’t save Julia Gillard:
Mr Howard said yesterday the budget was not the “political circuit-breaker” the government would have been hoping for.
“The government is in a difficult situation, it needed to re-establish itself and this budget will not achieve that,” the former prime minister told The Australian.
“My suspicion is that in three or four days people will move on and again be debating the carbon tax and asylum-seekers.”
Former Treasurer Peter Costello agrees. Not only is this a bizarre Budget for good times, it was sold disastrously:
What is the story? It can either be that times are so hard it can’t balance the budget, the government has to run up debt and families and pensioners need more handouts. Or it can be that we are in a time of unrivalled prosperity which means the government should be in surplus and paying off debt and taking money out of the economy to help dampen the roaring boom. Which is it? The government argues both depending on the audience. Which is why the budget has no coherence, no strategy, and no conviction. Even the much-vaunted $22 billion of savings (over four years out of a total spend of $1500 billion) is not a saving at all. That money is reallocated to new spending. It is not a cut. It is not a saving.
But I suspect this attack is too opportunistic:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Government was punishing aspiration and hard work by families earning $150,000 a year.
”These are class-war cuts that the Government is inflicting on people,” Mr Abbott said.
I agree that this Government is increasingly hitting middle-class wage earners to pay for bloated programs, but I also believe middle-class welfare needs pulling back.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:13 am)
I thought the Gillard Government was cracking down?
PEOPLE aged 35 and under applying for the disability support pension or already on it cannot be forced into work by the government’s overhaul of the pension even if Centrelink assesses them as having a partial capacity to work.
The government says it can force such people to attend Centrelink interviews but it concedes “participation in employment and other services will be voluntary”.
There are 815,000 people on the Disability Support Pension, and the government expects 90,000 DSP recipients will be required to attend regular participation interviews and compulsory Centrelink interviews in the first two years.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:04 am)
NSW had its Labor government crumble like this, too:
TASMANIAN Premier Lara Giddings has reassured investors that her minority government remains stable after former premier David Bartlett quit cabinet, becoming the second minister to exit in three days....
On Monday, counting of preferences in weekend upper house elections led to education minister Lin Thorp losing her seat, while treasurer Michael Aird quit in December. Yesterday, Mr Bartlett announced he was quitting as Attorney-General, and soon as an MP, having lost some of his “passion and commitment” after surrendering the premiership in late January.
And the Greens are now given a great chance to mould impressionable young minds:
Greens leader Nick McKim did not get the third Greens minister he had pushed for, but he was elevated to the key education portfolio, while Greens MP Paul O’Halloran was made a parliamentary secretary.
Oh, and one more Labor calling card:
Ms Giddings said the federal budget revealed a further $343 million loss of GST revenues to Tasmania, bringing the “black hole” in state finances to $1.5 billion.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (06:00 am)
First signs of dissent within this cautious, even timid, Government:
VICTORIAN Police Minister Peter Ryan saved Simon Overland’s career amid cabinet rumblings the Chief Commissioner should have been sacked.
The Australian understands key figures in cabinet believed the smartest political decision this week was to dump Mr Overland. The argument was that it would have ended the months of wrangling that was starting to poison the government’s law-and-order credentials, senior sources said.
“There is no doubt the best option would have been to sack him (Mr Overland),” a senior Liberal told The Australian....
After several hours of deliberations, cabinet opted to shift behind Mr Ryan, who was seen as the strongest advocate for what proved to be the final decision, to set up a special inquiry into Victoria’s police command.... The key factor to support an inquiry was legal advice showing that Mr Overland had not overstepped the mark legally by showing the door to his deputy, Ken Jones.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (12:09 am)
Those two weeks in court did seem CENSORED. Michael O’Connor describes it well, but I had better not describe it at all, in order to preserve my right to speak. Nor may you comment, I’m afraid.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 11, 11 (07:03 pm)
ABC economics correspondent Stephen Long says it’s often healther to stay on the dole than take some cheap job:
But the other side is there is an assumption in all the discussion around this from the Government and just about everybody that somehow this is a universally good thing, that any job is better than no job and we will be giving these people the dignity of work, the dignity of labour.
Now there is a whole body of medical research and other research that actually says that pushing people into low wage, insecure jobs that can often be quite oppressive and give people little control can actually undermine their health and well being.
(Thanks to reader Lee.)
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 11, 11 (06:15 pm)
The heat is on, but I doubt a singe Independent or Green would dare try their luck at an election:
“We’re going to do everything we can to put the pressure on the government to call an election,” the Coalition’s treasury spokesman told MTR radio.
Mr Abbott said he was “instinctively opposed” to proposed middle-class welfare cuts contained in the budget, branding them a form of class war.
The cuts will axe family payments for tens of thousands of families and deprive childless couples with one breadwinner a $2200 tax concession.